Our young democracy lost its moral compass: former ANC MP on arms deal


File: Andrew Feinstein speaks during an Occupy Wall Street protest.

JOHANNESBURG – The People’s Tribunal has heard that eradicating corruption requires holding people to account in both the public and private sectors.

The tribunal, convened by civil society organisations, is hearing testimony on economic crime in South Africa dating back to apartheid, the late-1990s arms deal, and more recent accusations of corruption linked to state capture.

Since Saturday, this tribunal has heard explosive testimony implicating high-level politicians in corruption and cover-ups.

The Seriti Commission, which probed corruption in the 1999 arms deal, has been labelled a complete sham. Its findings are currently being challenged in court.

Corruption Watch Attorney, Basetsana Molebatsi says, “There is sufficient information that has come forth in this tribunal that should allow for prosecution authorities to prosecute and certainly investigate.”

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The tribunal also heard that an obsession with public-sector corruption has allowed corruption in the private sector to thrive.

Khaya Sithole, Chartered Accountant says, “If one had to narrow down the essence of state capture as a state that exists but doesn’t have capacity to do what it needs to do, it starts to outsource its core functions to private sector players and it is within that processing of outsourcing that the loopholes exist: ie cash paymasters and SASSA.”

A former ANC MP said it&39;s critical that the governing party&39;s new leadership shows it has the political will to prosecute alleged beneficiaries of state capture.

Andrew Feinstein a former ANC MP said “If the new ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa is serious about ensuring the party is devoid of all corruption and the state is devoid of all corruption then he must ensure beneficiaries of arms deal are prosecuted. The arms deal was the moment in which our young democracy lost its moral compass.”

The tribunal&39;s findings will be handed over to the relevant authorities.